As the old saying goes, “there’s nothing certain in life but death, taxes and year-end predictions.” OK, that year-end predictions part I just added in. But if you work in the tech industry – whether as a CMO, an engineer, or some position in between – then you know just how commonplace year-end predictions have become.
Don’t get me wrong, year-to-come prognostication is a very low-risk, high-reward marketing initiative that we at ARPR often encourage our clients to participate in. Media eat up the discourse, blog posts get tons of eyeballs, and there’s no shortage of provocative posts to syndicate and engage with across social platforms. It’s very much a win-win.
Furthermore, it doesn’t actually matter whether any predictions come true or not. Like a local weatherperson, you won’t be held accountable for an inaccurate projection. Nor should you or your brand be. After all, absolutely nothing bad is going to happen if your speculation of increased enterprise demand for cloud-native 5G data centers operating at the edge doesn’t come to fruition in 12-months’ time.
In my nearly 17 years of tech PR experience, I can only recall one time when a client actually nailed a prediction. In December 2017, Eyal Benishti, the founder and CEO of ARPR client IRONSCALES, suggested that the email security industry would undergo rapid consolidation during the first half of 2018. I kid you not – by just February, M&A in email security was so rampant that only the May 2018 Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and that actress from Suits earned more media coverage. Kudos, Eyal, you will always remain the Nostradamus of anti-phishing to me!
Cynicism and joking aside, I actually have a tech marketing prediction for 2021 that I’m fairly confident will at least partially come true. That is, b2b tech brands will double, triple or even quadruple down on content marketing in the year to come.
Three reasons why content marketing will rule in 2021
So, why am I, a skeptical person by nature, so assured that content marketing will reach unprecedented heights with b2b tech companies in 2021? Here are three reasons why you can take this prediction to the bank:
1. It’s Measurable – Currently, over 51% of b2b tech marketers say that they can prove a connection between content marketing and increased sales, according to research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute. In contrast, only 33% of b2b marketers can connect social media directly to sales qualified leads, while the vast majority struggle, or don’t even attempt, to correlate PR to sales (except for ARPR clients, of course) at all. As many tech companies seek to regain lost or stalled revenue in the year to come, it can be argued that content marketing presents the most affordable and measurable way to impact the sales funnel from top to bottom.
2. It’s the Epicenter of Everything – B2b tech marketers agree that at the center of every successful marketing initiative is great content. Earlier this year, the majority of respondents surveyed for ARPR’s 2020 data report entitled Marketing in a Post-Covid World ranked content marketing as the number one area they plan to invest more time and resources. With most conferences and trade shows already canceled or moved virtual for the first half of 2021, expect a large portion of excess budget to support web-based content to engage prospects, such as webinars, demo videos, whitepapers, data reports, and more.
3. It Lives On Longer than Grandma – Did you know that the average blog post lasts for two years, whereas the average social post remains relevant for less than a day? For busy marketers, the thought of creating content continuously can be intimidating. But when you consider just how long content remains relevant, and how much it can be repurposed through tactics like thought leadership, paid ads, email marketing and more, the prospect of going all-in on content marketing becomes much more digestible.
I’m surely not the first tech PR person to predict the acceleration of content marketing in the year to come. But with the challenges and constraints tied to COVID-19, and with most b2b tech companies not named Slack or Zoom seeking to rebound revenues in the year to come, projecting an increase in content marketing is hardly bordering on the bold.
It’ll be hard to know with certainty exactly how accurate this projection will be one year from now. But one thing is for sure, I’m sticking with my pick no matter what.
Need help organizing all of your future content to come? Download ARPR’s Content Calendar Checklist to keep organized and up to date.